How to Manage Asthma During Pregnancy

If you have asthma and are pregnant, you may wonder how asthma will affect you and your baby. Good news: keeping your asthma under control can keep you and your baby healthy. It just takes good asthma care management.

Poor asthma control can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your baby in the womb. Having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy can lead to problems. These can include premature birth and low birth weight in the baby. It can also cause preeclampsia in a mom-to-be. This issue can cause high blood pressure, swelling that doesn’t go away, severe headaches, blurred vision, and dizziness.

If left untreated, asthma can harm both a mom and baby. Experts say that treating asthma with medicines during pregnancy is safer than having poorly controlled asthma.

Will your asthma get worse?

Even if your asthma is well-controlled, your pregnancy may affect your asthma symptoms. They may get worse, get better, or stay the same. You may have the following common asthma symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Tightness in your chest

  • Coughing

Managing your symptoms is key

With the right asthma care, you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Your healthcare provider may change your asthma care plan during pregnancy. He or she may adjust your asthma medicines.

You should avoid your asthma triggers. This can reduce your risk of having an asthma attack. Your triggers may include animal dander, molds, or cigarette smoke.

These tips can help control allergens and irritants that can bring on an asthma attack:

  • Cover pillows, mattresses, and box springs in dust- and dust mite-proof casings.

  • Wash your bedding once each week in hot water.

  • Use filtering vacuums or filtered vacuum bags. This will cut down on airborne dust.

  • Get a flu vaccine if you’ll be pregnant during flu season. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/18/2016

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